While most movie theaters in the United States remain closed or have had their reopening plans pushed back due to spikes in the cases of COVID-19, things in China are a bit of a different story. The China Film Administration has given some theaters the okay to reopen on July 20th with Bloodshot and Dolittle set to be the first Hollywood films to play in those theaters since closure in late January. Dolittle was released domestically in January while Bloodshot was released in mid-March, among the last films to debut domestically before theaters closed earlier this year. Both Bloodshot and Dolittle will now open in China on July 24th with the World War I drama 1917 opening a week later. All three films had originally been set for a February release in China.
In terms of theaters that are opening in China it's worth noting that not all of them will be opening at once. The China Film Administration are only allowing theaters in areas deemed low-risk for coronavirus infection to "resume business July 20 in an orderly manner" while multiplexes in "middle and high-risk regions must remain temporarily closed" The Hollywood Reporter noted that it was unclear how risk levels were being defined.
The reopening of movie theaters has been a complicated situation. Back in June, Beijing halted plans to reopen theaters because of an uptick in new coronavirus infections in the city while earlier this week it was announced that theaters in Hong Kong would close again after a third wave of coronavirus infections surged. In the United States, California shut down all movie theaters statewide on Wednesday while late last month, Cinemark Theaters announced that they would delay their theater openings to Friday, July 24th. AMC Theatres followed suit, announcing that they are pushing back theater openings to July 30th.
"We continue to devote extraordinary resources into our plan to operate our theatres with a hyper commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates, notably in the United States through our new AMC Safe & Clean initiative," said AMC Theatres CEO and president Adam Aron. "Our theatre general managers across the U.S. started working full time again today and are back in their theatres gearing up to get their buildings fully ready just a few weeks from now for moviegoers. That happy day, when we can welcome guests back into most of our U.S. theatres, will be Thursday, July 30."
Even when theaters do reopen, what plays on screens is in a bit of flux as well. Many films have seen delays in their release dates. While some have completely shifted to 2021, some of 2020's most anticipated films, such as Mulan, Tenet, and Wonder Woman 1984 have all seen some jostling of release schedules. Most recently, Tenet was shifted to August 12th, Mulan to August 21st, and Wonder Woman 1984 to October 2nd.
What do you think about Bloodshot and Dolittle being the first films to open in China since the pandemic shuttered cinemas earlier this year? Let us know in the comments below.